More on Greasemonkey

Following up on some of the Greasemonkey discussion, Christopher posted an alternate viewpoint on his blog. I found this section to be of interest:

The real question being discussed in Stephen’s comments is, “is there any benefit for service providers to support thirdparty ‘scraping’ tools like Greasemonkey?” Maybe. But if there is, I say provide a cleaner API, instead of propping up ad-hoc solutions. Web development is ugly enough.

I think that one of the great things about Greasemonkey is that the service provider doesn’t have to do anything to support Greasemonkey scripts. While API’s are great, they often don’t provide the level of access Greasemonkey gives you1 and they are additional burden on the service provider.

I don’t think it’s really very difficult to be a Greasemonkey friendly service provider. Most good web front-end folks will create a naming convention for their HTML elements and stick with it, and if you acknowledge that people do use these scripts and are willing to be a little transparent when you make changes, you should be in pretty good shape.

  1. Does anyone know of a web application offered as a service that has an API that allows you to add buttons to the interface? [back]

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